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new to IT field with unrelated B.A. Degree

This is a discussion on new to IT field with unrelated B.A. Degree within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi Guys, I graduated with my B.A. degree in History (Don't ask me why lol) in 2011. My first job


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Old 06-11-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Hi Guys,

I graduated with my B.A. degree in History (Don't ask me why lol) in 2011. My first job out of school was in finance as a financial adviser, which i absolutely hated. Then I did a small internship in marketing and now I'm working as an escrow coordinator in the real estate industry. I've been looking for a new career as I feel that my current B.A. really limits me in what I can do. So i've been looking into some entry level certs like A+, MTA, and Network +. Is this the right way to go? Would anyone recommend me taking those expensive computer courses to help prepare for those exams? I don't have any IT experience, but i would say i'm pretty familiar with windows OS and i've been using PC's my entire life, but no professional experience.

What kind of pay would I expect in landing a entry level job after I obtain a few certifications? I really would hope to make more than i am making now, (35k-40k) or at least the same, as I know I have to pay my dues in order to move up and eventually make some better money. Btw i live in Southern California. I would also like to add that I do NOT want to sit around at a desk/cubicle all day because that is exactly what I'm doing now and don't want to do anymore.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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While the certifications are a good start practical/work experience is going to be expected except in the very entry level positions. Hard to say what the salary range is where you are. Check the job openings in your area, some may list salary range. Check with people you know or friends of friends who are in IT. You're going to need some experience or be able to show some aptitude with PC's and operating systems to even get an interview.

Personally I wouldn't pay for the expensive training until you have a job that will pay for it. Books or free videos online are all you should need.

With no experience you could try for entry level desktop support or even something like Geek Squad. If you're looking to be out of an office/cube, you may want to try getting into a field engineer position where you go from place to place to provide service.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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While the certifications are a good start practical/work experience is going to be expected except in the very entry level positions. Hard to say what the salary range is where you are. Check the job openings in your area, some may list salary range. Check with people you know or friends of friends who are in IT. You're going to need some experience or be able to show some aptitude with PC's and operating systems to even get an interview.

Personally I wouldn't pay for the expensive training until you have a job that will pay for it. Books or free videos online are all you should need.

With no experience you could try for entry level desktop support or even something like Geek Squad. If you're looking to be out of an office/cube, you may want to try getting into a field engineer position where you go from place to place to provide service.
That field engineering really interests me. What sort of IT position titles entail a "field engineer"? I'm asking so I can look further into it and what sort of qualifications I may need.

Also, would anybody hire me in an entry level IT position without any certs or experience? I do have professional experience in a different industry and a bachelors degree...would that give me some sort of credibility in terms of being able to learn and succeed in a new field such as IT?
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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I can't imagine the degree or current experience helping with an IT job but at least you have a degree. Experience is still what most hiring managers would be looking for.

I would definitely start working on the certifications while you're looking. Those can at least show that you have knowledge and understanding in those areas. Getting a Microsoft cert would probably be the most beneficial.

As far as being a field engineer, the job description may indicate it but finding employers who provide IT services for other companies would be one way to find a job like they. They will typically send the engineers onsite daily to work with clients.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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If I was you I would do more research on it, what kind of job are you trying to enter? You really have to think about your future here, let me know what type of job you are trying to go for and I might be able to help you out. I'm going for school next year for Network System Administration which is basically handling/running networks based on LAN/WAN connections with a bunch more stuff. Do you know about networking or just computers itself? There's a lot to get familiar with!
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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If I was you I would do more research on it, what kind of job are you trying to enter? You really have to think about your future here, let me know what type of job you are trying to go for and I might be able to help you out. I'm going for school next year for Network System Administration which is basically handling/running networks based on LAN/WAN connections with a bunch more stuff. Do you know about networking or just computers itself? There's a lot to get familiar with!
I know more about computers itself. I don't know much about networking besides the troubleshooting ive done myself over the years when my internet isnt working haha. I definitely want to be able to get some experience where i'm hands on, whether it be dealing with clients or working out on the field. I've been looking into the security IT field and database admin and both really interest me as well. Basically i'm open to any IT career, as long as theres a good job outlook and mobility in terms of "moving up" and of course increase in pay.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:49 PM   #7
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I can't imagine the degree or current experience helping with an IT job but at least you have a degree. Experience is still what most hiring managers would be looking for.

I would definitely start working on the certifications while you're looking. Those can at least show that you have knowledge and understanding in those areas. Getting a Microsoft cert would probably be the most beneficial.

As far as being a field engineer, the job description may indicate it but finding employers who provide IT services for other companies would be one way to find a job like they. They will typically send the engineers onsite daily to work with clients.
which microsoft cert would you recommend? I've read that the MTA certs are entry level, so i'm assuming thats the route to go. I'm thinking of self studying for the A+ as i'm not incompetent when it comes computers. From there I was thinking a network + and/or a microsoft cert. I'll still be working at my current job full time until all these are complete, then my plan is to start job hunting for an entry level IT job.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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For A+ training:
Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training

MTA is definitely the entry level certificate for Microsoft. I would consider the MCSA for Windows 7.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Keep in mind (both bchang89 and JayMan4724), taking a class isn't going to qualify someone to become a network administrator. That's typically a job that requires experience, so it's something you work up to, not take classes to get into. If it were, everyone would do it, and nobody would work in entry-level IT jobs. :)

For what it's worth, any degree is worth having. My BS degree is in Chemistry, and it hasn't hurt my IT career one bit.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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Keep in mind (both bchang89 and JayMan4724), taking a class isn't going to qualify someone to become a network administrator. That's typically a job that requires experience, so it's something you work up to, not take classes to get into. If it were, everyone would do it, and nobody would work in entry-level IT jobs. :)

For what it's worth, any degree is worth having. My BS degree is in Chemistry, and it hasn't hurt my IT career one bit.
Oh yeah I know that for sure, it's not like when you just get your degree your going to be handed a job. Lucky for me my father is a Network Administrator for Verizon and he runs/manages a lot of things throughout his day of work. He's been showing me around/teaching me things for the past few months. I really like it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMan4724 View Post
Oh yeah I know that for sure, it's not like when you just get your degree your going to be handed a job. Lucky for me my father is a Network Administrator for Verizon and he runs/manages a lot of things throughout his day of work. He's been showing me around/teaching me things for the past few months. I really like it.
Well, what I mean is that many soon-to-be college graduates have a misconception that their degree will qualify them for a BETTER IT job - that they can skip entry-level IT work simply because they have a degree. And that's simply not the case. Degrees are not a valid substitute for experience; someone with four years of experience will always get a job over someone with a four-year degree and no experience.

Sure, the degree is valuable, but it won't really give you a boost until you start encountering jobs that REQUIRE degrees, typically management or supervisory roles, which generally come later in your career.
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